SoftBank group sees net profit spike 58.1%


SoftBank Corp. said Wednesday its group net profit for the April-December period rose 58.1 percent from a year earlier to ¥488.23 billion, supported by solid sales of Apple iPhones and increased subscriptions.

The mobile phone carrier’s consolidated operating profit rose 46.3 percent to ¥924.23 billion on sales of ¥4.56 trillion, up 94.4 percent.

SoftBank also said sales were boosted by the purchase in July of the third-biggest U.S. carrier, Sprint Nextel Corp., and making mobile communication service provider eAccess Ltd. and game developer GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. its affiliates.

For the full business year through March, SoftBank expects to post a group operating profit of more than ¥1 trillion on sales of more than ¥6 trillion.

According to sources, SoftBank is in talks with Deutsche Telekom over acquiring its subsidiary T-Mobile U.S. Inc., the fourth-largest mobile communications service provider in the United States, through Sprint, to compete with market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son declined comment Wednesday on the possible deal, or reports that U.S. regulators are lukewarm on the merger.